In the second of a three-game series between the New York Mets (63-53) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (67-46) at Citi Field, Jonathon Niese (7-9, 3.46 ERA) and Charlie Morton (7-4, 4.48 ERA) get the ball. The Pirates won the last game 3-2 and Pittsburgh leads the series 1-0. The game gets underway at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 15 and will air on RTPT and WPIX.
In his most recent outing, Niese pitched 7.0 innings, giving up two runs and striking out five in a 4-2 victory over the Rockies. Yoenis Cespedes (.294, 70 Rs, 20 HRs, 69 RBIs, 4 SBs) continued his strong season yesterday, going 3 for 5 with one run, one home run, and one RBI. The Pirates were unsuccessful to the Dodgers 13-6 the last time Morton pitched. He went 5.0 innings, allowing five runs, striking out six and walking three. Jung Ho Kang (.290, 43 Rs, 9 HRs, 40 RBIs, 5 SBs) went 1 for 5 yesterday.
New York is favored by a slight -113 margin in its matchup against Pittsburgh. The matchup currently has an eight-run Over/Under (O/U). The Mets have a winning record of 49-16 when playing as the favorite and an overall money line of +1,049. They are 8-1 as the favorite over their last 10 games. Over their past 10 games, New York's offense has been playing lights out, averaging 5.9 runs per game, well over their season average of 3.8. The Mets are an exceptional hitting team with an MLB-best .238 team batting average. New York's pitching staff has put it all together in the past 10 games. Its average runs allowed per game dropped to 2.5 during that span, compared to its 3.5 season average. The Mets don't allow many hitters to get on base, leading the league with a 1.15 WHIP.
Moving on to the away team, the Pirates come into this game in an interesting position. They have won more than 60 percent of games played as the underdog (13-20) but have a negative money line (+1,187). They have the third-lowest ERA in the NL at 3.28.
So far this season, the Pirates are 4-0 against the Mets. The Mets will take on a right-hander (Morton) in this game and have a 50-42 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. Taking the hill against the Pirates will be the left-hander Niese. They sport a 12-9 record against southpaws.
Predictions: SU Winner - NYM, O/U - Over
The Pirates won their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Mets are 20-20. The Pirates are 25-15 in close games this season.
The Mets managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Pirates who are coming in with a 22-11 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Mets are 14-43. The Pirates have a 16-35 record when opponents outhit them.
Pittsburgh ranks near the bottom of the league at 23rd when it comes to home runs, hitting 95 this season. New York ranks in the top half at 15th with 106.
Ranking 15th, New York is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.98 per game. Pittsburgh ranks in the top five at fourth with 9.01.
Ranking 29th, New York is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.678). Pittsburgh ranks in the top half at 15th with an OPS of .716.
When the Pirates allow at least one home run, they are 28-28. When the Mets allow one or more homers, they have a 26-37 record.